A ZANU PF Manicaland dialogue meeting last week nearly degenerated into a fistfight when some members were chased away as deep factionalism continues to rock the party.
Zanu PF has allegedly been divided into two factions, one led by provincial party chairman and Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro and the other one led by national party chairperson and Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri.
Some provincial executive committee members recently recommended the suspension of provincial political commissar Gift Kagweda who is said to be aligned to the Muchinguri faction.
Kagweda is being accused of writing a letter in September under the banner of Manicaland War Veterans Association passing a vote of no confidence in the Madiro-led provincial leadership.
Kagweda, who is the Manicaland war veterans chairman, accused the Madiro executive of incompetence. He argued that Madiro and his colleagues failed to drum up support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was beaten by MDC Alliance leader Chamisa in total votes cast during the July 30 plebiscite.
During the provincial executive meeting in Mutare last week, a committee that include some war veterans was set up to engage Kagweda to find out why he was not attending meetings despite holding a crucial position.
However, Madiro and a war veteran identified as Nancy Saungweme told the meeting that there was need for a dialogue with Kagweda.
Madiro set a committee led by a war veteran based in Chipinge Mike Mhlanga to meet Kagweda.
However, in yesterday’s meeting Kagweda surprised everyone when he came accompanied by districts war veterans’ chairpersons from the province.
“There was a war of words and the committee that was set by Madiro had to flee for their dear lives and as I am speaking to you they have not collected bus fares and they don’t have money for lunch because of the commotion,” said a source at the meeting.
A Zanu PF employee who refused to be named confirmed the skirmishes.
“I don’t want to comment much, but all was not well, you should have been there to see it for yourself,” he said.
Mhlanga, who led the committee set by Madiro, refused to comment over the matter.
Kagweda was diplomatic, saying that all was well at the meeting.
“The meeting went on very well, but l am at a meeting at the moment,” he said.
Madiro told this publication that he was not yet briefed about what happened.